17 Strategies to Help Learners Who Use Improper Verb Tenses While Speaking

Are you looking for strategies to help students who use improper verb tenses wile speaking? If so, keep reading.

1. After recording the student’s speech, have them find the incorrect verb tenses and make appropriate corrections.

2. Ascertain the type of grammatical model to which the student is exposed at home. Without placing negative connotations on the parents’ grammatical style, explain the difference between standard and nonstandard grammar.

3. Get the student to choose a verb to master. As the student masters the correct use of the verb, they put it on a list with a star and select another verb to master.

4. Encourage the parents to urge the student’s correct use of verb tenses at home by praising them when appropriate verb tenses are used.

5. Copy a paragraph that is in the present tense. Spotlight the verbs and have the student change all the verbs to past and/or future tense. This learning experience could be finished orally or in written form.

6. Ascertain if the student’s errors are the result of dialectical differences (i.e., the pattern of verb tense usage may not be atypical within their social group).

7. Praise those students in the classroom who use verb tenses correctly.

8. Utilize a private signal (e.g., hand over shoulder/past tense, pointing forward/future tense, etc.) to remind the student to use correct verb tense.

9. Throughout the day, write down specific verb tense errors pronounced by the student. Read the sentences to the student and have them make appropriate corrections orally.

10. Explain that changes must be made in a verb to indicate when an event happened (e.g., past, present, future).

11. Provide the student a sentence and have them change it from present to past, past to present, future to past, etc.

12. When the class is engaged in several learning activities , describe your observations using the present tense. Get students to do likewise. Expand this learning experience to include past and future tenses by asking appropriate questions (e.g., “What just happened?” “What were you doing?” “What will you do next?”).

13. Select a peer to practice verb tenses with the student. Each tense should be used in a sentence rather than only conjugating the verbs.

14. Get the student to assist in correcting other students’ written work, looking for errors in verb tenses.

15. Ascertain whether the student has appropriate sequencing skills. The concept of sequencing influences comprehension of verb tense (e.g., Can the student answer questions using first, next, then, etc.? Do they use such vocabulary when speaking even though verb tenses are incorrect?). Get the student to list learning activities they did when little, learning activities the student can do now, and things they will be able to do when grown up. Place emphasis on appropriate verb tenses during this learning experience.

16. Consider using a language arts app. Click here to view a list of recommended apps.

17. Consider using a language development app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

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